FAIRBANKS - Fairbanks attorney Joe Miller said he is running for the U.S. Senate to stop the country from a "headlong plunge into socialism."
Miller will challenge Sen. Lisa Murkowski for the Republican nomination.
Murkowski, who has held the seat for almost eight years, has announced she will seek a new, six-year term.
Miller announced his candidacy Monday in Juneau, hours after the Legislature adjourned.
Speaking to supporters on the Capitol steps, Miller said the federal debt has reached unsustainable levels and is affecting foreign policy. He also cautioned that too much borrowing and spending will lead to inflation and unemployment.
Miller, who was raised in Kansas, is a graduate of Yale Law School and holds a master's degree in economics from the University of Alaska. He received an officer's commission from West Point and is a veteran of the first Gulf War.
After arriving in Alaska 16 years ago, Miller worked as an attorney at an Anchorage law firm until his appointment as a state magistrate in Tok and Superior Court master for the Fourth Judicial District.
He moved to Fairbanks, where he served as an acting state District Court judge and a U.S. magistrate judge.
Miller left the judiciary to run for a state House seat in 2004, losing to Democrat David Guttenberg of Fairbanks.
Miller's wife, Kathleen Tompkins-Miller, is a teacher. She was appointed last year to a non-attorney seat on the Alaska Judicial Council, the seven-member panel that nominates state judges for the governor's consideration.